I didn't know where else to ask this so here goes. I have been living in a single-family home for most of my life (24 years in the current house) but am thinking of going back to an apartment sometime in the future. While searching around I notice some trends that have me scratching my head. What is the attraction of polished concrete floors, exposed ductwork, and columns in the middle of the room? Our parents worked long and hard (as did the architects) to be able to afford something better, and now it has become chic or something to go backwards? I just don't get it. Many of the most expensive downtown apartments and condos in Austin advertise those things as expensive perks, when in reality they have got to be cheaper for the builder. The builders are probably having a field day at this and laughing all the way to the bank. Can somebody please explain to me why that has become the trend in today's market?